The fuel tax will be a strong aid to save energy and control pollution, but it should be launched with care, says a signed article in the Oriental Morning Post. An excerpt follows:
According to the latest file approved by the State Council about energy saving and pollution control, the authorities would begin to collect a fuel tax at the proper time.
The fuel tax has been on the agenda of the policymakers for quite a long period. It was delayed for a variety of reasons. The Ministry of Communications finds it a challenging mission to get new positions for more than 300,000 employees in charge of collecting road maintenance fees that will be replaced by the fuel tax.
It is difficult to divide the fuel tax income among different levels of government while the tax rate is hard to set when the oil price fluctuates dramatically.
It is a wise choice to employ taxes as a leverage to control the growth of automobiles after China became the world's second largest energy consumer and is seeing rising emissions of carbon dioxide.
The fuel tax is meant to reach multiple goals: controlling the growing use of automobiles and stimulating consumers to choose more environmentally friendly cars. Thus, the auto manufacturers would pay more attention to producing cars with better emission controls, the common people would find autos more affordable and the environment would be protected.
Properly utilized, the fuel tax would benefit various parties at the same time.
Moreover, public transportation should be boosted, autos with high energy consumption should be controlled and research on alternative energy cars should be encouraged.